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Open Call. Ends on August 15, 2024 (11:59 PM ET).

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Blue Economy

The oceans of the world are facing tremendous strain because of human activities. Increasing pollution, acidification, overfishing, increased building, poor wastewater treatment, farmland runoff, and population growth are threatening the balance of this global system on which all humanity depends. 

The Inter-American Development Bank, through its innovation laboratory, IDB Lab,  with C Minds, the support of Climate Collective, the French Government (through IDB’s Natural Capital Lab), and the Amazon Bioeconomy and Forests Management Multi Donor Trust Fund (AMDTF), aims launches a prize for diverse groups working in biodiversity conservation.

Prize:

Project Showcase_ in Cali, Colombia, in the context of the CBD COP16

Be part of the NaturaTech LAC Studio_ an incubator for the adoption of purposeful technologies

Access to a Strategic Network_ and visibility

UP TO
100K USD

Geographic Focus_

Organizations legally registered and operating in one of the following countries:  Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.*

Organizations that are not registered in the eligible countries, but are part of the rest of IDB's 26 borrowing member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (including: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Chile, El Salvador, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela)  may apply, provided their project is applied in one of the selected countries, and they do so in partnership with an institution that is located and registered in one or more of the eligible countries.

Topic Tracks_

If your project or solution addresses challenges in one of these tracks, you can apply to the prize.

Who can apply?_

The NaturaTech LAC initiative aims to discover and support organizations (NGOs, Start Ups, SMEs, Innovation Agencies, IPLCs-led organizations, and more) working in biodiversity conservation and regeneration that would benefit from technology adoption to help strengthen or scale their work. We are specifically looking to support the development of inclusive, technology-based proof of concepts.

Projects using new technologies and/or traditional knowledge to improve nature-based solutions for biodiversity conservation.

Purposeful Innovations

Projects should align with one or more of the topic tracks: Forests, Sustainable Agriculture, Blue Economy, and Nature-Positive Cities.

Aligned with Topic Tracks

LAC Region Team-based

50% or more of the founders of the organization were borned in a Latin American and Caribbean country. 

Projects eager to explore the adoption of emerging technologies in their already stablished projects.

Technology Adopters

Solutions should aim to explore, strengthen, and/or demonstrate how the use of cutting-edge digital technologies can support effective forestry or agroforestry projects and protect biodiversity through sustainable forest management, avoided deforestation, avoided land degradation, and/or restoration.

FORESTS

Solutions should aim to explore, strengthen, and/or demonstrate how the use of cutting-edge digital technologies can support more transparent and sustainable agricultural practices and bio-based value chains that reduce habitat destruction.

SUSTAINABLE
AGRICULTURE

Solutions should aim to explore, strengthen, and/or demonstrate how the use of cutting-edge digital technologies can support nature-positive cities and urban development.

NATURE-
POSITIVE CITIES

Solutions should aim to explore, strengthen, and/or demonstrate how the use of cutting-edge digital technologies can support the protection of marine ecosystems or other water-based ecosystems while fostering economic opportunities.

BLUE
ECONOMY

WHO CAN APPLY?

  • Organizations legally registered and operating in one of the following countries:  Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, México, Panamá, and Perú. 

  • Organizations outside the eligible countries: Organizations that are not registered in the eligible countries, but are part of the rest of IDB's 26 borrowing member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • 50% or more of the founders of the organization must be nationals of a Latin American and Caribbean country. 

  • More than 70% of the management and operational team must be nationals of a LAC country.

  • Although it is not a precondition for receiving funding, gender equity at the management and operational levels is encouraged. 

FAQs

  • Organizations legally registered and operating in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and Peru can apply. This includes startups, SMEs, NGOs, public innovation agencies, and others with expertise in biodiversity conservation, and/or technology, and/or traditional ecological knowledge. 

    Organizations outside the eligible countries: Institutions that are not registered in the eligible countries, but are part of the rest of IDB's 26 borrowing member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (including: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Chile, El Salvador, Guyana, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela)  may apply, provided their project is applied in one of the selected countries, and they do so in partnership with an institution that is located and registered in one or more of the eligible countries.’

  • Projects that leverage or are seeking to leverage emerging technologies (like AI, IoT, eDNA, etc.) and Traditional Ecological Knowledge to solve challenges related to biodiversity conservation and regeneration. Projects should align with the four topic tracks: Forests, Sustainable Agriculture, Blue Economy, and Nature-Positive Cities.

  • No, if your organization is not legally registered in any of the eligible countries (and are applying as a co-applicant in one of the 26 IDB's borrowing countries), you cannot apply to this prize.

    • May 29, 2024: Prize Launch

    • May 29 - July 30, 2024: Submit applications

    • August 15, 2024: Deadline to submit applications

    • August 15, 2024 - September 05, 2024: Review by NaturaTech LAC technical team

    • September 05, 2024 - September 20, 2024: Due diligence and interviews with finalists

    • September 30, 2024: Notification to winners

    • October 21- November 1, 2024: Winners publicly announced in Cali, Colombia, in the context of COP16

  • Selected projects can receive up to USD $100,000 for the development or adoption of their technical components and supporting activities (with a contract signing as the initiative’s partner). This includes financial resources, consulting services, access to advanced technology, capacity building, and more.

  • Applications will be evaluated based on:

    • Clear problem identification (10%)

    • Impact (20%)

    • Ethical integration of technologies and Traditional Knowledge (15%)

    • Inclusivity (15%)

    • Scalability (15%)

    • Team capacity (10%)

    • Viability (10%)

    • Financial sustainability (5%)

  • Yes, applicants must provide in-kind contributions valued at 30% of the total prize amount. This includes participation in workshops, capacity building exercises, and knowledge transfer activities.

  • Institutions not registered in the eligible countries but part of IDB's 26 borrowing member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean may apply if their project is implemented in one of the selected countries and done in partnership with an institution located and registered in an eligible country.

  • No, you can use any type of digital technology, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT, etc.

  • No, you can start using technology with this prize. Just let us know how you’ll use it in your proposal.

  • The NaturaTech LAC team will be happy to connect you with technical experts to support your project.

  • Proposals must be submitted through the online platform within the specified timeframe. Applicants must upload documents like legal constitution/incorporation and two letters of support.

  • You can email your questions to naturatech@cminds.co before the final submission deadline. This mailbox will be open until the selected proposals are announced (September 2024). Please note that this mailbox is only for technical issues related to the challenge.

  • You can submit your application in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. Required attachments (proof of legal registration, bylaws, and audit reports) can also be submitted in these languages.

  • The selection process involves:

    • Phase I: Review by NaturaTech LAC expert technical team and financiers.

    • Phase II: Due diligence process for pre-selected applications.

    • Phase III: Final selection according to evaluation criteria. Selected applications will be contacted and announced as per the timeline.

  • Selected applicants will be included in NaturaTech LAC’s network of implementing partners, gaining access to knowledge exchange, best practices, and networking events organized by NaturaTech LAC’s partners.

  • By participating, applicants agree to terms related to data use and privacy, rights to disqualify, originality and copyright, obligation to maintain decorum, eligibility verification, and final decision-making authority of the contest organizers

  • Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their applications by September 15, 2024.

  • No, the NaturaTech LAC team does not provide individual feedback or comments on applications.

  • You can click here to see what information is required in the guidelines document. However, remember to APPLY ONLINE.

  • The intellectual property is owned by the applicant at all times. If the applicant wishes to sign an NDA for the submission of the application, it can request it by emailing NaturaTech LAC at naturatech@cminds.co.

Timeline_

Open Call

May 29, 2024

Deadline

August 15, 2024

Review of Applications

August 15, 2024 - September 05, 2024

Due diligence and interviews with finalists

September 05, 2024 - September 20, 2024

Notification to winners

September 30, 2024

Public presentation

October 21- November 1, 2024

Winners publicly announced in Cali, Colombia, in the context of COP16

*Subject to changes

Responsible and contextual use of emerging technologies to solve previously identified challenges.

Innovator

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).

Explorer

Who can aply?_

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Nature-positive cities

Regarding the fourth priority topic “fostering innovation for nature-based solutions for cities,” the cities of Latin America are grappling with a multitude of environmental challenges and unplanned growth and the scarce inclusion of environmental issues in urban policies have led to greater vulnerability in the region. 

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Sustainable agriculture

Agriculture and agri-food systems play a critical role in creating jobs, reducing poverty, safeguarding food security, and preserving ecosystem services. Thus, transitioning to zero deforestation value chains and adopting agroecology can maximize positive outcomes for the region's societies, economies, and ecosystems.

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Forests

The LAC region has experienced a significant loss of forest cover over the past 30 years. Forest cover in the region has declined steadily from 53% to 46% of its land area between 1990 and 2020, and the total loss of forest cover across the region during this time was 138 million hectares. This loss of natural forests is a significant threat to the region's ecological health, as well as the livelihoods of those who depend on forests for their sustenance and income. 

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Blue Economy

The oceans of the world are facing tremendous strain because of human activities. Increasing pollution, acidification, overfishing, increased building, poor wastewater treatment, farmland runoff, and population growth are threatening the balance of this global system on which all humanity depends. 

The roots of a nature-centered future_

The NaturaTech Prize challenges people around Latin America and the Caribbean to solve the planet's most pressing issues through social entrepreneurship.
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